Yes, that’s right. 20 days ago, my mother-in-law passed away suddenly. It was a shock to the Hubs and I and the shock was so surreal that we couldn’t cry as we couldn’t really believe it. And still when we took that first flight home to Kelantan, rushed to her home from the airport with a taxi since my Father-in-Law was already busy making funeral arrangements, then rushed upstairs to see her body lying on her bed, still we couldn’t cry. It wasn’t real. She was just sleeping. We were asked to kiss her goodbye one last time as it was the only chance we got to touch her before they embalmed her and put her into her coffin. It was the first time I’d ever seen nor touched a dead body and in normal circumstances I would have been terrified but not that day. My heart missed her terribly already.
Fast forward a lot of prayers, the nightly guarding of the altar and visits to the temple and cremation, we are finally home in KL for a breather. We even managed a quick steal to Perhentian for a getaway from it all. Life is so precious indeed. I need not even mention it but those of you who are still angry, who are still pissed off with someone or other? Get over it. Waste not a second more in experiencing a beautiful life ahead of you and treasure with your utmost passion, your loved ones.
Those of you who are Muslim, please, I ask of you to pray for my Mother. Her name is Elena Gabriel Binti Abdullah. If you have a father or husband or brother, who prays at the mosque, can you please ask them to ask the Imam to pray for her too.
If you are NOT Muslim, please, can I also ask you to pray for her? Her pre-convert name is Elaine Maria Gabriel. I don’t care about names and religion. To me, she is the same amazing person and deserves all the prayers in the world to fight this disease and evil. So if you go to Church, please I beg you, please ask the Priest to pray for her too. Get a pen and write her name down now. I thank you humbly.
Just last week, she asked for a big fat straw. Odd request? I knew that she’d been on a liquid diet for the last year drinking only milk so why did she want a big straw versus a small normal straw? To drink faster?
So I asked.
Apparently, her mouth is filled with the cancer growth left, right and back and her mouth senses are literally screwed so whenever she puts her medicine into her mouth, she has no idea where it goes and has no control over it. With a big straw, she is able to suck the pills one by one straight into the back of her throat after which she can just gulp down with a sip of water. Her mouth feels knives slitting every part of her mouth. It is only a matter of time when the cancer blocks her entire throat and she won’t be able to swallow anything and would then have to be tube fed.
Being on fluids alone for a year plus has made her look like a famine victim in Ethiopia. She wears her baggy clothes all the time but I can see how she is literally all skin and bones. Not kidding.
Bless her strength. I do not think I will have the will to suffer like this in her position, not even for my 2 girls. I don’t know. I think. But you never know. My Mother is the strongest person I have ever known personally. Do you know anyone stronger? Come show me.
I have asked my dearly departed Mother-in-Law to please care for my Mother from above and keep her well for as long as possible. She truly deserves another chance at life.
So! I’ve started a new Facebook group on duh, Facebook, that has been growing quite nicely called the Homeschooling Hub Malaysia. It is for the benefit of the parenting community which shares our Homeschooling activities and ideas and going ons about town. Come join us if you’d like to know what we get up to. It’s not just for Homeschoolers per se as all children to me are entitled to lots of fun. And that is exactly what we practise at Home in our learning exercises.
Come join us at Homeschooling Hub Malaysia. We’d love for you to participate in our discussions.
See you soon!
For the last few years, I’ve had to search for plus size women wear – WTF. In the past I could get stuff only from M&S and Ms Read but soon after, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis and Warehouse came along (yay!) and Zara started bringing bigger sizes as well; but still to dress from 5 stores only? BCBG and DVF do sometimes bring in XL sizes so thank God for that too. Now there is www.junonia.com. Well, let’s hope I won’t be needing plus size women wear forever!
Forest Fun Park in Zermatt is an Adventure Camp that we discovered in Zermatt, a really fun activity for T1. Earlier, we were advised by a friend to go here when we came but we were initially due in Zermatt in March for the skiing though as luck would have it, the Hubs couldn’t get his leave approved so we had to postpone the entire fucking holiday and I was so pissed, not to mention all my organisation work down the drain for a winter holiday. After that disappointing saga, we re-scheduled the holiday and even thought of giving up Europe altogether and going to the States instead for a road trip but the Hub’s sis said it was way too hot in the US, so we decided to re-plan for Europe. It was difficult as we were crossing various temperature and had to pack for cold and hot in exactly May/June/July – we were there for 34 days.
Forest Fun Park cost about CHF16 per entry for kids (that’s about RM65) and each circuit lasts about an hour. T1 did it twice and of course, crashed like a log that evening. It is opened from 10am to 7pm in the summer months but please check their website or facebook page before relying on my information. This is info when WE were there this year.
I liked that the guy manning the forest fun park was a hunky Swiss – YUM!!! And I would have gone with T1 just for him but T2 couldn’t go and she requested for me to stay back at the resort with her so the Hubs took T1 instead.
The Swiss are big on safety and precision, what do you expect, after all they are watch makers of the world!!!
T1 got belted up real good and my comfort level with them including the maintenance for the equipment were comforting, unlike those locally. Heh.
The kids obstacle course was about tree height only at highest level and about 6 feet off the ground for lower level stuff.
It was a big circuit that ran through buildings, in between trees and over/beside the river (yikes!).
This holding onto the building wall walk must’ve been tough!!! Even adults can do the Forest Fun Park in Zermatt but of course, there is an entirely new circuit for the adults that is wayyyyyy higher and wayyyyy longer and wayyyy spookier!!!! I can just imagine Dolly Parton doing this wall walk. She’d need some very strong arms as my A-Level Physics Lessons have taught me.
The air was fresh and the wind was just nice, not too cold, not too hot. Perfect.
There was an awesome Flying Foz at the Forest Fun Park that ran from the top where the hut was and flew right down to the ground. I think T1 fell on her bum-bum. Ouch. But it’s so bouncy that it wouldn’t have mattered.
She was very brave according to the Hubs, enough to do the circuit twice just to do it a little faster. After all, the first time is a tad scary as you familiarise yourself with the course.
It was just beautiful doing this amidst the Matterhorn view and the hills everywhere with skiiers going up in their cable cars. If you ever go to Zermatt, you must check this Forest Fun Park out. It is really fun!!!
A musical performed by the Homeschoolers. Get your tickets NOW!!!
I think of the last 7 months that the kids have been rehearsing. I think of the parents who have had to drive them for rehearsals. I think of the daily performances they have to act out from 9 Aug-22 Aug and again the parents who are committed to allowing their children to participate and experience the whole shebang of stage production, and I must, must MUST support them!!!
My girl turns 5 today and the first thing she asked when she woke up was, “Is it really my birthday today? Am I 5 years old now? How come my feet aren’t really big yet?”
Damn, I think she’s eyeing them Chanel heels.
I just got home from a meeting and was shocked to find the kids still awake at 10pm. Asked the Hubs what was going on and he said he didn’t want to have a battle that’d only end in tears to sleep. I ignored them and went straight to the bathroom, stripped and sat down for a pee.
T2 walks in and watches me. Then she says, “Mama….?? Why is it when you take off all your clothes, your boob-boobs falls down so low from here to here?” With hand actions and all, she asked innocently…..
Stunned, I replied,“Cuz you freaking sucked the living daylights out of me!!! That’s why!!!”
Realising my tone of voice, she quickly made a getaway out of the washroom. Sagging tits indeed.
The night before her birthday, n bed with T2…….
Mommy, is it really my birthday tomorrow? Are you sure? Are you really, really sure???? And I’m really going to be five years old?? I can’t WAIT to be five years old. Mommy, are you sure it’s my birthday tomorrow? Like when I wake up and I will be five already?? I want to be a big girl!! I can’t wait. Are you really, really sure?? It’s my birthday tomorrow, right?
Will you please just go to sleep!!!
The Hubs was moaning that he felt like the maid these last 4 days as he had to do EVERYTHING for his 3 girls. Even to hydrate us, he had to go get us water or none of us will drink anything. We are THAT lazy. Yadayadayada……
I told T2 when the Hubs left the bedroom to get water, “I think we better start helping Daddy out, T2. He sounds fed up and may just quit and run away. Then we will have no more Daddy.”
T2 goes, “Aiya….we just go and buy a new Daddy la!!”
Shock! Horror! I asked her, what if we don’t get a Daddy as nice as this Daddy?!!!! Shit. I could certainly NOT do with another Daddy and nor do I WANT another Daddy. This is the Daddy I married and he is our BEST DADDY!!!
She said, “Don’t worry. Then we just buy and buy and buy till we get a good one.”
I can assure you the Hubs was not amused that he was so easily replaceable yet he could not stay angry at any of his girls. It’s a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
I must tell my guitar crazed brother about the lowest price on guitar equipment since he is mad about being the next Led Zeppelin or ACDC lead guitarist. Hahaha. He dreams but I am behind him all the way. For it always starts with a dream, doesn’t it? If you are interested in guitar deals, look no further and you will find it when you least expect it. Kind of searching for that special someone!
OMG!!!!!!!!!!! For 10 years I have had 2 girls and have always resisted Barbie but now that T2 is turning 5 in a week, she is asking for everything BARBIE!!!! I kid you not. The heave in my heart is heavy, my eyeballs are bulging, my mouth opened in shock and my brain spinning a million why’s…………….Barbie in Malaysia, yo! Barbie in Kebaya?
She has not asked for Barbie at all but since she is having a little party (her first ever birthday party, mind you), she has been asked about 10 times now what she would like for her birthday and she has responded with ANYTHING SMALL AND PINK, or ANYTHING BARBIE. So I said, what if you get a dozen Barbie dolls????????????
She said, “NOOOOOoooooooo………I don’t want Barbie dolls!!! I want anything BARBIE!!!! Like the Barbie House, or the Barbie laptop, Barbie car, Barbie Lego…….not Barbie dolls!!!”
Anyway, my treat to her this year is that she will get to meet Barbie in Malaysia. Yes, the REAL BARBIE. Didn’t you know? Barbie is coming to Malaysia soon in August. She’s going to be at Mid Valley or One Utama on different days (details later). But can you imagine T2 meeting THE real Barbie???
LOLOLOLOLOL!!!! She’d be THRILLED!!!!
And my eyeballs are rolling over at 5000 kmph. Are you sure you’re my daughter, my darling T2??? Because I love you so much, I will succumb to your love for Barbie.
It’s just a phase. It’s just a phase. It’s just a phase……
Barbie in Malaysia. I asked T2, what about your baby dolls??? Don’t you like your baby dolls? They are so cute and so precious!
“No, Mama. I’m a big girl now. I’m 5 years old and big girls play with Barbie not baby dolls. I don’t like the baby doll’s eyebrows anymore……..”
This year I got very brave upon the blessings of a dear friend and ventured towards Homeschooling my girls Malaysian Style. What does that mean really? Honestly, in the past 7 months, our homeschooling journey has evolved so much that this year, 2014, must be one of our most interesting years ever. Ever!!!
We started off the year Homeschooling Malaysian Style by having a set timetable of working seriously 3-5 hours a day replicating the school syllabus and time table but at home. This lasted all of almost 2 months with a lot of extra-curricular activities made possible with all the extra time. Then the next few months were spent on a downward spiral dwindling into nothingness because I really couldn’t arsed to monitor my kids progress. Seriously, who has the time. I actually have a real job in the real world, thank you very much. That pays real money too, thank God!!!
Though we did less school stuff, the girls got to play a lot, swim a lot and just do whatever they felt like doing every day. Simple life pleasures. I remember T1 baking a lot and well, they just had to get creative by themselves because they were just bored of being bored!
Then we went for our 1 month traveling expedition which was really all part of our homeschooling intention. Actually our round the world travel will be an ongoing homeschooling mission until the day we can no longer afford to go anywhere. Travel is THE best education. I kid you not. You do not need a lot of money seriously. Even going to Rawang, you will find plenty to do, plenty to see, plenty to learn, if you allow yourself to. Our Homeschooling Malaysian Style journey will also include our internal travel in Malaysia adventures for sure. We aspire to sell Malaysia really well to the world as we believe we have so much to offer here in our BEAUTIFUL country!!!
After Europe, our Homeschooling Malaysian Style journey suddenly picked up with a variety of activities shared with other like minded families and it just got richer and richer and T1 started falling in love with Homeschooling. She had found a group of friends, good buddies both boys and girls, that she could relate to. They were older by a year or two, but she clicked with them just great. They have since together performed experiments together, presented to each other their ideas, performed debates, gone on field trips, definitely an interesting ride this past few weeks so much so that T1 dropped the bomb on me this morning…….
She said she wanted to Home school indefinitely instead of going back to school. This was after begging me for the last 4 months to send her back to school. The Hubs had already budgeted a ridiculous sum of money to send both kids back to school next year due to the double year that the school is having as they are transitioning from the Malaysian school calendar to the British school calendar so 2 annual school fees in a year. I cannot express my facial expressions regarding this and question all the time if sending them back to school is a good idea. The return on investment just seems uncertain but the Hubs believes that the girls, HIS girls deserve the best in education and he believes that the school can give them a good all rounded challenging yet enjoyable school life, which is what he had. Actually, I had a bloody good time at school too. And we are fortunate to be able to afford it.
I cannot help wondering though that Homeschooling Malaysian Style might just be the way to go now that we’ve found our footing with the Homeschooling community in Malaysia. They are such fabulous people. The ones I have met anyway. Always inspiring, ever helpful and forever encouraging. Actually the kind of qualities that I would like my girls to inculcate.
SO I had a seriously long chat with my 9 year old daughter who is now doing Year 6 Math (her same class at school now are all doing Year 6 work anyway, they are just a year or two older) and she’s also done a Cambridge Year 7 paper (that’s Secondary School Form 1!!!) and scored 100% on it; so you can see the maturity and capability of this young girl who is able to perhaps assess her options and make some serious decisions. Maybe?
She says she would want to do her iGCSEs and go to University but for now wants to Home school but I told her that in order to do that, I might need to hire her individual private tutors to see her through the exams in a few years time and that would cost much more than school. Double!! Right now, she has private tutors for her languages and it is already costing close to her school fees and it’s only for an hour a week. CRAZINESS. But well worth it. She is learning a lot and most importantly keeping up with the real school pace and yet gets to party outside of school. I do keep asking myself though, is it necessary? What for? Can she just learn anything at her own pace and/or do nothing?
But knowing how lazy she is, I don’t think she’d get very far with disciplining herself to get any real work done if she is planning to take the iGCSEs. She’s a lot like me. I’m the laziest ass on the block. Study? Puhleeeeeeeeze. I always just did the minimum required and had the best time. If I had been Homeschooled Malaysian Style, perhaps my interest would have been captured but seriously, how much of what I learnt at school is now applicable to my life? I am not very clever but I am considered relatively successful due to pure luck. No connections, just sincerity and hard work. Anyone can do it and you don’t need school, just a passion for whatever you do. So is school necessary?
To get them out of my hair? Yes. The real education that will bring them to the level that they desire to make a lifelong living? I really do not have the answer. School or no school? Home school or not? At school, you have the dynamics of daily school life that involve many personalities and characters, you inculcate discipline and are forced to practise your manners daily, you have to interact and communicate with everyone daily which offers a lot of practice, you have large scale team activities such as the many performances that the school produces and projects that they get involved with, it is a lot of fun but so structured and of course, there are the damned exams and the not so creative teachers.
Homeschooling Malaysian Style? Freedom to do whatever the hell you want. Having loads of fun learning in the most creative ways which makes for more meaningful learning, lots more time to absorb important things, self governance, but it takes effort for the parent to expose new things to the child. I don’t have that kind of energy…..
Alas, I will get back to you after praying about it. Homeschooling Malaysian Style. Loving it.
Many people who see our little family now always assume that Daddy has a favourite and that his favourite girl is T2. Little do they know though that as much as everyone thinks that T2 is the spoilt darling daughter, T1 has had ALL our attention for an entire 5 years. She was given a hundred times more in every way, much, much more than her little sister. In fact, Daddy used to rock her for 3 straight hours when she was a baby right up to when she was a toddler every time Mama had to go out. She had an iron will and would cry REALLY LOUD NON STOP, one of the reasons why Daddy is slightly deaf today. He really loves his T1. I know he does, so, so much.
We love T2 too, of course. And they are so, so different, my two girls. They both have wonderful characteristics and eccentric personalities, they’re both fun and cheerful yet can get temperamental like any woman, they love with passion and gosh, I do love them with my entire heart, soul and body. And so does Daddy. In fact, he loves us three. And we love him.
If anything, I am comforted that there is just so much love in our little family that we will always be able to count on one another, even with their little spats between them. I stress to them all the time, that they are sisters forever and will have to take care of each other when Mama and Dada are no longer here. It is their responsibility, their legacy, their MUST DO. And they have already promised me that they will, despite the fights. I have told them that they will always have each other and must always be there for one another hence one of the reasons why I insist they share a room. There’s nothing like being sisters, something I never had the chance to have but I now have friends as my true sisters. Where borders are crossed and trust is infinite. It’s different with brothers…….though of course, I love my brothers with my life.
So yeah, T1 is so, so, SO, SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LOVED. She’s such a lucky, LUCKY girl.
Of course, a trip to Paris would not be complete without getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris! Actually, since I’ve already been several times, there really wasn’t a need for me to pay money to go up again and seriously, if my girls had not been interested in going up the Eiffel Tower, then I really wouldn’t have. But they were! They have been wanting to go up the Eiffel Tower, Paris since forever! T1 says it’s because it’s a tower and it’s so high up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK, so we went. We couldn’t get the online tickets that were perhaps cheaper as Mama is always very last minute with these sort of things. And then when we were there in Paris, since we lived beside the Eiffel Tower, every time we passed by it, there were snaking queues to buy tickets. S.H.I.T.
Ding Dong Ding Dong, we finally picked a random day. Tuesday it was, for us to go up the Eiffel Tower and we decided to wake up early to go. Our early meant 10am. Heh. But bless the Lord, when we went, there was no queue. I kid you not. At 10am on a Tuesday morning early June, there was no queue. So happily and easily we bought our tickets and took the several lifts up. The process going up itself took 45 minutes. There was no queue buying the tickets downstairs but there was a slight queue upstairs after you went through the first lift! But all in all, still good time for going up the tower of romance in Paris. It was extremely windy not to mention chilly up there so of course, the girls loved it.
It wasn’t super crowded atop the Eiffel Tower but man, it was WINDY!!! Just check out our hair out of place! We had neatly tied hair when we left our room just a 5 minute walk away.
The necessary I love you kiss atop the Eiffel Tower, Paris.
It’s just nice observing the view atop the tower of romance but just as nice walking around it and observing the tower itself from all areas of Paris. I took photos of it everywhere we went and caught a view of it. Paris……….the city of love. I am so in love with Paris. Just something about the air………the culture, the lifestyle, the love. After visiting quite a few many cities around the world, including all the major ones and some quaint ones, I still am in love with Paris. It must just be a sentimental love affair I have. And now I’ve gotten my whole family hooked on Paris too.
The Louvre is one of the largest art museums in the world and of course, us Malaysians had to go there despite going with 2 kids. Actually, it was T1 who wanted to go, Good Lord. I’ve already been and was not looking forward to it at all because once you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, yes? The reason she wanted to go in was to see the Mona Lisa real life after watching Mr Peabody and learning about the Mona Lisa and Leonardo Da Vincci. So you know what she did after we fought an hour with bloody China tourists who hogged the space directly in front of the Mona Lisa? On an aside, these China tourists are really a pain in the arse. A group of them kept taking pictures of themselves for half an hour and just would not budge. I finally spoke up and asked if I could have like ONE photo and then they could go back to their power spot after waiting for the dozen people before the China Chinese came to hog the Mona Lisa. Where was I? Oh, T1 walked the entire 180 degrees from left to right of the Mona Lisa to test the theory that she was watching you wherever you were and it turned out to be true. What an amazing piece of work. Her eyes really do follow you. Spooky shit.
So us Malaysians at the Louvre just had to do this too…..though my kids weren’t too enthusiastic and just wanted to run to the Tuilleries Playground. So inconsiderate!
In order to please Mommy……
After 10 shots of T2 attempting to please Mommy, we still couldn’t get it right. Mommy gave up. That’s what happens when you get a 4+ years old to do something detailed and specific :-p She just kept moving and moving and moving. Fail.
In applaud to my girls, they walked the entire Louvre. Not without whinging of course, but they did it. Their legs dropped off but found their way back miraculously when it was time to trampoline jump at the Tuilleries Garden. Kids.
Our unschooling programme doesn’t sound very impressive, does it? But man, the girls are having fun!!!!! I have all faith that once they go back to school, they would just pick up where they left off without a hitch. They are bright enough girls I think, to adjust back to a schedule and start studying again. I mean, if you have to do it, you just do it, right? It’s like me and work. I hate doing my expenses. If I could do anything else, I would do it. But there comes a point where I really HAVE to do it. So I do it. Simple. I always play by the 80-20 rule. 20% effort for an 80% result.
Yesterday, I brought the girls for a swim downstairs. After all, we pay RM1,000+ every month to the management so we might as well bloody make SOME use of the facilities. I swam as well and it was actually quite fun splashing about with just the two of them. I love spending time with them even though I know I moan about how much they drive me NUTS. Yes, I certainly love spending time with them. They make me laugh all the time!!!
Today, we had some guests over for a chess class. Whilst I did my work, the girls and their friend were screaming the house down. Oh. My. God. This went on for several hours whilst they played rainbow loom, hide and seek, dress up, be Queen Elsa, and God only knows what else and at one point I thought I was going to explode. Yet, a bigger part of me could feel how much fun they were having running about and chatting with each other that I put my hands to my ears instead every time I had to read something, because it is really quite difficult reading and digesting a contract when there is background chatter that is quite loud!
Tomorrow, T1 will attend a birthday party without me of a wonderful Mama’s son. This only tells me how fast T1 is growing. Man, she’s going to be going out to a party with someone else and I am not going to be there. That makes me nervous yet I know I have to let go…..I cannot keep them physically close to me forever but hell, I certainly wish. The bond my 2 girls and I have are very strong. If all goes well, my gut feel tells me that they would always come home after they reach adulthood and into their next phases of life. Well, it is certainly my job to work towards that goal.
So while T1 goes to her swim party tomorrow, T2 has requested that we go shopping. LOL!!! Well, I do need to go grab my Raya outfit….Heh. I love excuses. It gets me everywhere I want to go. All is great at my end. I have a wonderful family and extended family, I really could ask for nothing more except for their fabulous health and safety till eternity. And please, make Mom well again. She looks like she’s 28kg right now. Thank you.
Here’s the 3 of us signing off. We are such a happy cool team that Dada would be MAD not to love us with his entire heart, body and soul. And that is probably why he works so hard. LOL!!! Working hard to keep his girls happy……
We just got back. Yes! After an entire month, 34 days to be exact. My GOD. I cannot believe we were away for a whole 34 days. The house is all dusty now and there’s loads of laundry to be done but heck, would I do it again? Hell, yes. Would I do it longer or shorter? Neither. 1 month was just nice. Enough for a fabulous, fabulous holiday where you truly got to enjoy at your own pace doing only all the things that you wanted to do.
We planned it for the longest time. Actually, not really planned but had the idea that we were going to go and of course, by the last week, we finally got down to more serious bookings but unfortunately, due to my bad, bad procrastination, we missed some stuff we wanted to do which only gives us an excuse to go back!!! Like real.
So the girls were super excited that they were finally going to see the Eiffel Tower, one of T1′s to do list checked. I’ve been up several times so no biggy for me but it was nice to see my two munchkins enjoy the cool breeze atop the tower of love. We walked tons!!!!! Like anywhere between 6-16km per day. T2 would end up being carried by about 4pm onwards daily but thank goodness for the walks because apart from walking, we ate tons too. Phew.
Although I resisted like mad to do any shopping, I totally failed in food intake devouring almost on a daily basis, fresh cream, cakes and chocolate – who can resist? Certainly not me when they are oh, so good over there. Maybe it was depression from not shopping that led to comfort food? *chuckle* Seriously though, I had told myself from the get go that I was going to try hard not to shop because I needed to save my money to start my trust fund for the Children of Myanmar. Simple.
We did some touristy things, not much, but spent most of our days at children’s playgrounds or spending our time with our loved ones abroad. It was just perfect. An absolutely perfect holiday. I love holidays with my family. Even if we have to return with loads of laundry and a dirty house. It was so damn worth it even though Europe cost two arms and two legs times two. Ouch. Oh, well. Money can always be earned back. And as my Money Penny friend says, it won’t take long at all. She is so smart that woman!
Homeschooling and traveling – OK, every time I tell people that my kids don’t go to school, they go into temporary paralysis, then get zapped by one of those electricity guns (whaddya call them again?), and I have to spend the next 15 minutes explaining why and how and what and who and where. I am sick of it!!!
Maybe I should just stop using the term homeschooling because people naturally assume (making an ass of themselves) that I spend my days teaching them stuff. Well, I DO spend my days teaching them stuff but not THAT kind of stuff. Then they will ask what syllabus we use etc and when I tell them zilch, they go into panic again and look at me as though I abuse my kids. Heh.
So listen up those of you who know me or know of me, not that it is anyone’s business, but this is what we do. T1 used to go to an International School and did the British syllabus up to Year 5. This year she is taking a year out to test the concept of not going to school. It gives her a chance to brush up on her weak subjects, her languages, and that is English, Mandarin, French and Bahasa. It gives her a chance to appreciate school (maybe? As I said, this is a test). I have bought the Year 6 text books (British syllabus, the very same books from her school), in the hope that she would study them on her own but this lasted all of 2 weeks. She just isn’t interested and would much rather go about reading her story books, playing with her sister or reading the iPad or performing activities with her friends or alone. T2 on the other hand, is only 4+ and she does not want to go to school because her sister is not at school.
Now that we are clear.
I do think that homeschooling and traveling go hand in hand extremely well. You don’t have to go far at all but traveling offers a whole world of learning and possibilities. We are currently on a one month travel expedition just to fulfil our personal homeschooling goals and already in our first week, we have learnt so much together. So many questions are asked, so many thoughts are processed, so many opportunities in confidence building and communication refining, so many firsts as the girls see things for the first time in Europe, how things work, how people work, how things are made, how they are put together, how cultures come together, food, currencies, economies, Government……man, I could go on.
Homeschooling and traveling, just because we do not follow a particular syllabus per se, it does not mean we aren’t learning. Our learning is incredibly rich if you asked me and no, I am not boasting, as I could easily be. You can do the same just by traveling to the next kampung out of Kuala Lumpur, which we intend to do too. Our homeschooling and traveling goals work two fold, local and abroad, for diversity and breadth. It is my own syllabus for my own children to become citizens of the world yet be proud of their Malaysian heritage but spread and live the Universal language of love. That is my ultimate goal. For them to love and be good, useful citizens, inspirational and hard working in doing good for the greater community.
Homeschooling and traveling, I cannot stress more how traveling truly opens up the mind. It is like being in a sales team. You go out to meet loads of different people, each with their different characteristics and challenges. Alternatively, you stay in the office and be stuck with your day in day out colleagues and on the odd occasion, the courier boy and the cleaning lady. Not that they are bad at all, in fact one could learn tons from the courier boy and the cleaning lady! Traveling just offers a bigger base, that’s all.
The Hubs and I have worked hard to earn this trip with our salaries but more importantly, our girls are the luckiest girls to have this opportunity to make new friends all over 4 countries – France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, and of course, my 2nd home, the United Kingdom. Although really, I feel more at home in Paris!
Paris was a sweet success. We are now loving Switzerland. Just not the Swiss Francs.
How often are we thankful for everything that we have? I am one who is thankful every single day. I cannot ask for a better life and I owe it all to my Mother. Her sacrifices to keep me, to raise me, to teach me, have all come to fruition. I have been at peace for the last 17 years and I have so much. So much that I don’t even feel deserving. But yet, the blessings continue to shower upon me. Sometimes there are hiccups along the way, such as the time I was so alone during the pregnancy of T1, the time I tried to tell a beloved friend truth but she chose not to see (though I believe that one day, our stars would be aligned again. I just feel it in my bones. We both have this energy that can detect one another) and the time we found out Mom had cancer. But all in all it has been a wonderful ride.
I went out tonight with a big group of work people, colleagues, my amazing boss, clients, and had such a great time that it was almost a farewell on my behalf for my impending holiday which I know will end only too soon. I am SO EXCITED like a little girl with a new precious book. The entire night, my trip was the highlight, lots and lots of laughs, and I kept feeling…..fuck me, will somebody please pinch me? What have I done to deserve this???
I am an old soul. Even at a young age, my late Principal, Sam Paranjothy (bless him, he was a fantastic man, a brilliant headmaster), had already told my parents that I had maturity beyond my years. I was precocious. Everything I see in T1 right now. And I was exactly 10 then. Right now at the fucking old age of XX (yeah, people don’t believe me because I look ever so young), I feel like I’m approaching 10 years above my actual age. WTF. I savour the good, I relish in beauty, I bask in positivity. I have a path to follow and am guided by it strongly, never afraid to speak truth, even if I end up losing. Truth will always prevail. Honesty, humility, kindness. And I have no qualms about saying something is crap when I think it really is. My mother says it is my weakness for not being tactful and I admit, it has never been one of my strong points. Why lie when the cake you baked really sucks? Life is so simple, why complicate? If everyone were to speak truth, communication would be a tenfold bonus and there would be a lot less problems in this world.
I think of my team in Malaysia and I am thankful to them. All the hard work I have sweated was worth it. How I nurture my team is my next test till they get to a level where they can start growing their own wood too. I thank my boss for this amazing opportunity. I thank my girlfriend who introduced this opportunity to me in the first place. I thank my Mother for teaching me all I need to know. Her incredible wisdom has also taught many, many others who have entered our lives since I was a kid. Where SHE gets it from, I have no idea. I think she’s just naturally smart. Perhaps from her Doctor grandfather’s gene pool. I love my mother in a million more ways than you could ever imagine. She is my guiding light together with God. You really have to be spiritual in order to feel this kind of euphoria.
My boss was so happy for me to go away for a one month holiday and told me he was putting X amount of dollars into my bank account this week. He said I deserved it. That really meant so much to me. It made me feel that I would never leave him and want to go all out to grow the business. Sometimes, you just trust……even though the whole world tells you not to. But when the gut says to trust, you trust. My gut has never been wrong So far.
My cousins from Australia are down tomorrow on a surprise visit to see my Mom despite seeing her just a month or two ago. You know, these are the people you know who really care and give a shit. Most of the world is all talk but it is actions that truly speak louder than words. So many of you, my readers, have been ever so supportive of me, my life, my choices and now, even my mother. What did I do to deserve this really?
My only conclusion is that there are some very powerful prayers going on for me and so for you who pray for me, thank you. May my blessings be yours back tenfold.
Life is sweet indeed.
Half a day more before we depart, I am going through the 4 books about London and Paris the girls and I have read to plan a route following these books – Eloise in Paris, Madeline in London, et al…..it’s going to be magical. Who would have imagined my 2 lucky girls would get a one month holiday just to be with their parents full time? And although Harry Potter seems to be a thing of the past, T1 and T2 will still have orgasms visiting Harry Potter Land. I know it.
Thank you, God, for allowing all my projects to materialise. Every single thing I ask for, I get. When I die, it would be nice that I have touched every single heart that I’ve met in more ways than one. As my friend once said, kindness begets kindness, and when you do good, you really get back good. Believe it.
So grateful for everything and everyone. And for this, I continue to pray for all my friends and family and my Children of Myanmar who don’t have it so good. May each day bring them more blessings, a little at a time, but certainly in the right direction of everything that they so desire for themselves. My energy and love will get them through. Insya’allah.